“Take a good look Diego‚ take a good f***ing look.”
Howdy Kabrins‚ father of Camps Bay murder victim Gabriela Albans‚ wept on Tuesday as he visited the hotel room where his daughter died.
Then‚ as murder accused Diego Novella walked past him on the way out of unit 14 at the Camps Bay Retreat Hotel‚ he raised his voice to the Guatemalan.
“Bastard‚” he muttered after his taunting remark. Novella did not react‚ and Judge Vincent Saldanha did not attempt to intervene.
Kabrins broke down on Tuesday as he stepped into the room‚ which took centre stage on the ninth day of the trial. His wife‚ Linda‚ grabbed hold of his hand as tears streamed down her face.
Across the room Novella walked silently to the window directly across from the bed and stared out solemnly. Then he crouched by the bed and said a silent prayer.
As the defence and prosecution filed into the bedroom‚ Linda reached down to touch the spot where her stepdaughter was found. As she did she closed her eyes while her husband leaned against a cabinet.
Howdy maintained a pained expression for the entire ordeal.
The rest of the inspection centred on the testimony of Tarryn Masmüth‚ the receptionist on duty during Novella and Alban’s stay in 2015.
Masmüth recounted several bizarre instances on July 29‚ the day Alban’s body was found. She said Novella had paced for hours outside the window across from her desk‚ smoking several cigarettes.
Then she received two consecutive phone calls from Novella. The first was to cancel his spa treatment that day‚ the second was to cancel Alban’s.
As the defence team walked the property on Tuesday‚ attorney William Booth pointed out the exit behind unit 14. He confirmed with Masmüth that no guest had access to the exit and that it remained locked.
“There can be no quick getaway‚ so as no one can skip out on their bill‚” Booth said.
The Camps Bay Retreat sits in a valley off Victoria Road. Residents have access to private pools‚ a tennis court‚ spa and dining room.
– TMG Digital/TimesLIVE